Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) yesterday said the party would prioritize efforts to train young people to run for office in the wake of a series of election defeats.
“The public said the KMT managed to keep three of the five cities in special municipality elections and our performance in previous elections was disappointing. We have drawn up new strategies and will include new blood in future elections,” King said in an interview with BCC Radio.
The party has started to draw up election strategies for the legislative elections later this year and the presidential election next year, King said. However, it did not plan to eliminate local factions.
“It is unfair to connect local factions with corruption because grassroots voters play a major role in local politics and the KMT has no plans to destroy them,” he said.
King’s comments come in the wake of another KMT loss — Saturday’s by-election for the chief of Caotun Township (草屯), Nantou County, which the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won by 19 votes.
The KMT’s failure in Premier Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) hometown was seen as another warning sign to the party, which has suffered defeats in at least five of the six elections since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in 2008, including the 2009 elections for city mayors and county commissioners and five legislative by-elections.
In November’s special municipality elections, the KMT won in Taipei City, New Taipei City (新北市) and, by a close margin, Greater Taichung , but lost Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung, while its share of the overall vote dropped significantly compared with that of the DPP.
King said the party would continue its efforts to integrate local forces and rid itself of the burdens and negative image left by traditional forces “in a delicate manner.”
King said KMT Legislator Wang Shu-hui (王淑慧) would represent the party in the Greater Tainan legislative by-election in March, while Hsu Ching-huang (徐慶煌), son of former DPP legislator Hsu Chih-ming (徐志明), will run for the KMT in the Greater Kaohsiung by-election.
He said both candidates were picked following negotiations, denying that no one else had registered.
“The two municipalities are difficult election areas for the KMT and we want to make sure that our candidates are politicians with integrity and a clean image,” he said.
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